Pintupi-Luritja Dictionary Vol 1 & 2 Set (Fourth Edition)


This Pintupi-Luritja Dictionary includes vocabulary used in everyday speech by speakers of the Pintupi-Luritja dialects of the Western Desert Language. Within this range of speech there are borrowings from other Western Desert dialects, Western Arrarnta, Warlpiri and English. Borrowings have been used for many years, even before people came in to live on communities. This borrowing is normal in most languages and Aboriginal languages are not immune from it.

Giving further variation in the language now used, is what we call “Younger” and “Older” language. There are many areas in younger language (that which is used by middle aged and younger speakers) which differ from what older speakers would use. The influence of the dominant language English has been profound on the language of the younger generations, both in vocabulary and in some instances, grammatical structure and concepts. Some of the younger generation have preferred language spelling variations which we have attempted to include in this publication.

Lesley Hansen first started compiling this vocabulary way back in 1965 at Papunya.

This is the fourth edition. The earlier editions of this Pintupi-Luritja dictionary were produced by KC and LE Hansen while they were working with the Summer Institute of Linguistics (1966-1981), now known as (AuSIL, the Australian Society for Indigenous Languages). Most material from earlier editions of this dictionary has been incorporated, with adjustments and language examples, into this current dictionary publication.

A great many Pintupi-Luritja have contributed to the content. Without their patient explanations and willing cooperation it would not have been possible to produce this dictionary. The following is a list of a number of those involved more formally:

Pastor Murphy Roberts, Tjungurrayi George, Ampi Robinson, Charlie Tjapangati, Pastor Joe Young, Irene Nangala, Pastor Jim Brown, Bob West, Pastor Roderick Kantamara, Winytjiya Napaltjarri, Rita Napanangka, Pastor Simon Tjungarrayi, Charlotte Phillipus, Patricia Phillipus, Pastor Graham Tjapangati, Long Jack Phillipus.

All examples of the usage of each entry were given by speakers of Pintupi-Luritja. Some examples record actual events with all their colour, while others were composed to illustrate the meaning of the words.


The format of this publication has been designed to enable Pintupi-Luritja users to find items using the alphabetical order of their reading alphabet. Glosses include English words and phrases, making it convenient for these users to extend their understanding of English. The alphabetical order used is:

aa, a, ii, i, k, l, l, ly, m, n, n, ng, ny, p, rr, r, t, t, tj, uu, u, w, y

  • Specs:
    297 x 210mm; Case Bound
  • ISBN:
  • Author:
    Ken Hanson
  • Publisher:
    KC Hansen, LE Hansen

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